Iron Pipe Size (IPS) refers to an old pipe sizing system still in use by some industries, including major PVC pipe manufacturers, as well as some legacy drawings and equipment.
The iron pipe size standard came into being early in the 19th century and remained in effect until after World War II. The IPS system was primarily used in the US and the United Kingdom. In the 1920s, the Copper Tube Size (CTS) standard was combined with the IPS standard.
During the IPS period, pipes were cast in halves and welded together, and pipes’ dimensions were sized by reference to the inside diameters of the pipes  . The inside diameters under IPS were roughly as we know them today under the Ductile Iron Pipe Standard (DIPS) and Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) Standards, and some of the wall thicknesses were also retained with a different designator. In 1948, the DIPS came into effect, when greater control of a pipe’s wall thickness was possible.